I was visited by a ghost today.

Late at night, in that mutable time between lights out and succumbing to sleep, he haunts me, still. He whispers of the things that could have been, and I remind him of all the things that were and were not, of all the small cruelties we inflicted on each other.

But today, after all these years, his voice whispered words across the page. No one else. There’s been no one else.

How I hate him for the things he did to me, throwing me away like foul-smelling trash. Denying my existence. So for him to reach out after the years of silence, for him to assume that I would be overjoyed by his missive, that has thrown me into a vortex of what-ifs. Has pushed me back into that frozen wasteland of unrequited love. And anger.

How I love him, still, for so many reasons. That’s what my heart says. But my head says that I must be strong, must take the good and leave everything else behind. To recognize that if it were not for the things he did, I wouldn’t have found the way to love me first.

His actions drove me to write, and I did.

Writing became my escape, my salvation. I allowed him to push me into such a dark place that I thought I wouldn’t survive. Only by submersing myself into someone else, only by writing their words and their sorrows was I able to fight my own sadness and climb out of that hole.

Now writing is my life, my joy. I do it for me, because I want to, because I love it. And me.

For that I am thankful, still.

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